Frequent Urination: Causes, Treatment, and When to See Your Doctor

If frequent urination is interfering with life, then it can be defined as too much. This is when it’s important to see the doctor. Frequent urination could be a symptom of a medical condition like diabetes or even a stroke. Read on to learn more.

8 minute read

Last Updated July 14, 2020

Frequent Urination Causes - Men's health - 1MD

The frequent urge to urinate can be a sign of a serious health issue, but it is important to note that everyone’s definition of frequent is going to differ. In general, if the need to frequently urinate is interfering with life and causing challenges, then it can be defined as too much. 

Frequent urination also causes you to feel anxiety when you are far from a bathroom. The urgency to urinate is usually accompanied by discomfort or pain in the bladder, and the need to urinate can come on very suddenly. 

Causes of Frequent Urination

Your bladder naturally loses elasticity as you get older, which can lead to an increased need to urinate. Apart from this, other common causes of frequent urination include anxiety, the use of diuretics, drinking too much liquid, or drinking too much alcohol or caffeine. 

In addition to this, there are other serious causes of frequent urination. A number of conditions are associated with frequent or urgent urination that requires medical attention.

Diabetes: When your body needs to eliminate excess blood glucose, it causes excessive and frequent urination. The urgent need to urinate will also be accompanied by excessive thirst and hunger. 

Enlarged prostate: When the prostate gland becomes enlarged. The displaced size puts extra pressure on the bladder, causing more frequent needs to urinate. 

Overactive bladder: An overactive bladder usually results from another condition, such as diabetes or prostate cancer. 

Urinary tract infection: UTIs are the most common cause of frequent urination, and these are caused by a bacterial infection anywhere along the urinary tract. The inflammation caused by the infection increases pressure and irritation in the area, causing an urgency to go to the bathroom.

Stroke: It is common for stroke survivors to experience poor bladder control, and a commonly reported symptom is frequent urination or incontinence. 

Bladder Cancer: The presence of a tumor combined with excessive inflammation caused by cancer, increases pressure on the bladder, which results in a more urgent need to urinate.

Diverticulitis: Diverticulitis is the inflammation of small pouches along the intestinal tract. When this happens, the inflamed and enlarged intestines press against the urinary tract, causing a need to urinate more frequently. 

Interstitial cystitis: This chronic and very painful bladder condition is often mistaken for a UTI, but there is no infection to blame. Interstitial cystitis has similar symptoms to UTIs. 

Diagnosis of Frequent Urination

Your doctor needs to know when the problem started, your lifestyle, your medical history, and how often you need to go to the bathroom. They will also conduct a physical examination to check for swelling and urine analysis to identify any infections. 

The doctor will evaluate several factors to determine an accurate diagnosis. These factors include:

♦ If you have started taking new medications
♦ Is your urine a different color than usual?
♦ Have you seen blood in the urine?
♦ Do you regularly drink caffeinated beverages?
♦ Are there any other symptoms?
♦ Is it painful to urinate?

Depending on these answers, more diagnostic testing can be done, which includes:

♦ Cystometry, which is a test that measures the pressure inside the bladder to see how well it is working.

♦ Cystoscopy, which allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope

♦ Neurological testing to rule out possible nerve disorders

♦ Ultrasonography, which uses sound waves to visualize an internal body structure to help identify abnormalities in the structure

Treatment for Frequent Urination

The treatment for an overactive bladder and frequent urination will depend on the underlying cause. If diabetes is the reason, then you will be given medication to maintain control over your blood glucose levels. 

Any infections will be cleared up using antibiotics, and if there is a more serious cause like bladder cancer, you will likely undergo cancer therapy. Urination should return to normal once treatment has been completed. 

Additional behavioral therapies can also be used to help you control the urge to urinate.

Dietary changes: Products that act like diuretics such as caffeine, tomatoes, alcohol, and spicy foods, increase the need to urinate. Cutting these from your diet will reduce the urge. It is also important to stay hydrated and eat plenty of fiber to prevent constipation, as this increases the frequency of urination. 

Bladder retraining: You can help retrain your bladder to hold urine for longer by increasing the intervals between using the bathroom. This can be done gradually, and after a few months, you will notice that you can control your urination better and go less frequently.

Your doctor can also prescribe medications designed to reduce the need to urinate, but this is typically reserved for individuals who are woken up through the night with the urgent need to urinate. 

There are also surgical options, which involve implanting nerve stimulators under the skin. These manipulate muscle contractions and can prevent frequent urination, but they are only recommended in severe situations.

Natural Treatment for Frequent Urination


UTIs are the most common cause of frequent urination. Inflammation in the bladder or prostate can contribute to this symptom. There are natural ways to prevent infections and reduce the inflammation that causes frequent urination. 

When used in conjunction with any medications or medical treatments, these therapies can reduce discomfort. 

Fight infection


Pygeum has been found to both reduce inflammation associated with infections and to promote bladder healing. 

Boron AAC is a more potent and easily absorbed version of the mineral that is proven to fight bacterial infections

Reduce inflammation


Sunflower lecithin is a substance made from fatty acids that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Lecithin can naturally reduce inflammation associated with infections that cause frequent urination. 

Pumpkin seed extract also works to reduce inflammation in the urinary tract. 

Stinging nettle is also a wonderful ingredient for men’s urinary tract health. This plant, or any extract, can be used to prevent prostate enlargement as well as frequent urination. When combined with water for “irrigation therapy,” stinging nettle is successful in the treatment of UTIs and urinary tract inflammation.

When to See Your Doctor

If there are no other symptoms present, then frequent urination could be a normal sign of aging. In most cases, it is a sign of an underlying condition, and other symptoms will be present. 

You need to see your doctor if you notice any of the following:

♦ Blood in your urine
♦ Vomiting
♦ Sudden weight loss
♦ Fever, chills, or fatigue
♦ Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
♦ Penile discharge
♦ Abdominal pain
♦ Increased thirst or hunger

Urinary tract infections are the most common cause of frequent urination. With prompt treatment UTIs can be successfully treated. Sometimes, a more serious underlying condition or disease could be the cause. 

Reach out to your doctor if you notice severe symptoms and frequent urination that does not go away. You need to discover the cause and seek treatment before more permanent damage to your urinary tract health occurs. 

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